Toys, toys, toys!
With 2015 well under way and the haze of revelry still clinging to our foggy minds, I thought my first piece should obviously be about Brighton’s most magical and heart-warming attraction – the bizarrely beautiful Brighton Toy and Model Museum.
Hiding under the bridge at the front of Brighton station is a delightful and magical world of children’s toys. For a mere £4.50 you can browse the cornucopia of items and special exhibits. From hand crafted puppets to Meccano ferris wheels, you are thrust back to a simpler time before Dora The ‘Wretched’ Explorer and demonic Furby’s.
The museum houses over 10,000 pieces and a surprisingly inexpensive souvenir shop. You’ll see a variety of goodies that tug at the heart strings and permeate the mind with nostalgia. The army of Steiff stuffed bears are charmingly ancient and I adored the creepy clans of Pelham Puppets, especially a rather giddy looking Sooty (Yes I’m that old!)
The highlight is without a doubt the working model railway exhibits. There are two large layouts with authentic 1930s trains and a rather accurate portrayal of the Sussex countryside. It features all the fun snippets that bring the whole experience to life- working trains, sound effects and of course tiny model people silently living their plastic lives.
This is the perfect thing for families, collectors or just people looking for that fuzzy feeling. There are a range of concessions on the door and it’s open until 5pm. The staff are helpful and very friendly. In fact I was given a particularly informative lesson on the complexities of the Mutoscope, one of the first private view moving picture devices. Essentially an automated picture book that the repressed Victorians developed into a dirty flipbook called the ‘girlie reel!’
Don’t let the exterior of the museum fool you, this is a seriously established and beloved place. It has over 20 sponsors including Network Rail and Visit Brighton. It’s also a deceptively large museum and features 3 arches of exhibits with something for everyone including the largest Tri-Ang Spot On collection in the UK, if not the world!
If you haven’t been before, prepare to be well and truly giddified.
(Also my beloved readers, could you please settle this ancient argument by siding with me in the comments section- Playmobil is obviously way better than Lego!)
Pictures from Brighton toy museum